This weekend in Laguna Seca, the final race before the summer break – it was Sykes on pole followed by Rea and Davies. Starting on the 2nd row was Melandri, Laverty and Mercado in front of Forés, Lowes and Camier. It was Savadori leading the 4th row ahead of Torres, De Angelis, van der Mark, De Rosa and Ramos. On row 6 it was Krummenacher, Bradl and Jake Gagne who is the American joining Bradl on the Fireblade this weekend. On the final row, it was Smrz on a Yamaha, Badovini and last but not least, Jezek.
It was Sykes who got the hole shot and managed to maintain the lead while Lowes had a bad start, falling back into 11th and then eventually suffering a crash which abruptly ended his race. Rea and Davies both managed to hold on to the leader with Davies putting in consistent fast laps. Rea had a few big moments at the Corkscrew, but never let them bother him as he kept his form as strong as ever, making overtakes there at every possible chance.
With 10 laps to go Sykes started to drop down, riding lonely in 3rd leaving Davies and Rea to fight for the win. Bradl made an impressive race finishing in 11th after making up 6 places, and getting some important championship points.
After the disappointment at Misano for Torres he managed to finish in a respectful 7th place, fighting with van der Mark, Mercado and Savadori who got top Aprilia honours after Laverty crashed out.
P1 – Davies: “One of my most important victories it means, it’s not easy turning up here with just a few weeks ago the accident that happen and getting yourself into top shape, the highlight for me was sat at home on the sofa playing with my dogs but that’s as exciting as my last few weeks have been and its just been a case of of make sure I’m fit and ready and be able to come here and fight for victory and like I said before, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think I could try and win the race, it was important to have a go and we did, the victory was tough race, it was slippy, the track temperatures through the roof and it was quite hard to manage the grip. A lot of moments of the front and I could see Sykes struggling a bit and I could also see that I wasn’t easy for Rea either so it was a matter of putting the last laps together well and building up a little gap and give us a victory that was really important for me to dedicate to Nicky Hayden.”
P2 – Rea: “Really good, that was honestly almost our best today- I don’t think there much sense to look for too much more, there’s some small things. My acceleration grip was good, my problem was the entry traction I think we can change the weight balance of the bike tonight to give me a little more entry traction because I had to open the engine right up during that race which was really good in the problem corners and in the corners where it was okay before it was sending me in and I couldn’t stop it so some work to do tonight. Congratulations to Davies, it was a fast race I think the fastest race here for a while so I was clinging on the mid part thinking I could have something. Happy with our job and I’m sure we can make some small improvements tomorrow.”
P3 – Sykes: “It was a good start, good first half of the race, I just suffered a little bit with the rear traction, disappointed for that but having said that we managed to salvage a podium and tomorrow we just need to make a small improvement to try and help in a couple of areas really so overall I’m disappointed to give away some points but that’s racing you cant just except to the business in every run- the guys in front riding really fast and consistent and just from half race distance on we didn’t have what was needed to to take the fight to them guys. Tomorrow is another day and hopefully we can sort the job out.”
The final results were as follows:
Davies took this win, putting out a beautiful tribute for the late Nicky Hayden on his cool down lap and also showing that this championship isn’t over yet. Finishing the all British podium it was Rea and Sykes followed by Melandri, Forés in 5th, Camier, Torres and van der Mark in 8th. In 9th it was Mercado followed across the line by Savadori. Crossing the line in 11th it was Bradl followed by Ramos, De Rosa, De Angelis and Gagne collecting the final point. Badovini, Krummenacher, Smrz and Jezek all missed out on points taking places 16th to 19th.
DNF: This afternoon it was only Lowes who suffered a crash at turn 5 and Laverty and turn 3 who failed to finish this race.